arrival of autumn   no comments

Posted at 8:33 pm in Nova Scotia,Round Hill house

I’m not quite into the swing of posting on my blog again, but hopefully will have more time for it soon. I’ve been preoccupied with rebuilding the north wall of this old house, removing some hideous fake brick asphalt shingle covering and a number of water-damaged planks. The walls are basically timber frame with 6 inches of air space between the outer planks and the primitive split board lath covered in plaster. I have put R22 rockwool insulation into the big air space up up to the level of the ceiling of the first floor — I really only use the first floor of the house, so am not doing anything about insulating the upstairs for now (probably forever!). Here’s a photo of what the wall looks like when it’s opened up from the outside, but before I put the insulation batts inside. The stuff at the back is a fairly thin board that has been split and nailed to the inner side of the walls as lath on which to apply plaster.


After some deliberation, I decided to use a kind of pine boards called V-Groove Pine from the lumber yard in our town. I have looked around (for years) for siding like the original shiplap pine siding on the rest of the house. Unfortunately, no one has been interested in milling some for me. Anyhow, I found this stuff which is usually used for interior siding, but there’s no reason it won’t work fine on the exterior of a house once protected with a few coats of paint. It’s not cheap, but it’s quite nice wood – fairly clear of knots and almost an inch thick – which is the thickness of the original siding from around 1850. It actually looks rather similar, and definitely looks a lot better than the fake brick stuff! The only catch has been getting it home from the lumber yard. My van is currently tied up for some repair work, so my only lumber hauler is the new (used) Kia Soul. Here’s a picture of it with the 10 foot long pine boards loaded. I have to rest them on the armrest on the center console, and then secure the load before tying down the back hatch door. I had to make 3 loads to bring in enough wood to do an area of wall that is about 14 feet long by 10 feet high.

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I’m quite pleased with this little car. I had so much stuff packed into it today — lumber, some other building materials, my groceries, and a few other things. It’s nice to drive. The engine is very quiet. Easy to find a parking space for it — unlike the big van. In any case, at least I’ve been able to get the lumber home. Today, I worked all afternoon on the wall. The insulation and the replacement of rotten planks is done. I may begin doing the pine siding tomorrow. I’m already enjoying the benefits of this work though — the temperature in The Pod doesn’t drop down the way it used to do on a cool evening. I’ve been hoping that would be the case, and it is. Now that I’ve managed to do this with the worst wall on the house, I’m contemplating doing some of the other walls — probably not this autumn, although I may tackle a section of one of the other walls. It’s hard work, but seems so worth it.

In between all of the above, I’ve made a couple of forays to pick up squashes for this winter, and seed garlic for the garden. Most of the squashes have come from Fairns Orchard down the road from me, but quite a few from a farm in Nictaux. He has quite a variety of squashes. I spoke to him yesterday — it’s basically self-serve, but he happened to be putting out a bunch of pumpkins when I stopped by. He gets his seed from Mennonites in Pennsylvania. This is what I picked up yesterday.


Yesterday was also the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. There was a lot being said and written about the residential schools. I think many people didn’t realize what went on with the schools. I’ve known for a long time from speaking with First Nations students when I was at Carleton U working on my MA and studying FN art and literature. A number of fellow students were FN and we did discuss the residential schools. One of the students in a graduate seminar session course was FN and had been in a residential school. She always spoke extremely quietly — actually, just in a whisper. I never really thought about it that much — just thought she was very soft spoken. As part of our course work, each of us was required to prepare and present a seminar for our fellow students. When it was her turn, she tried to present her seminar, but couldn’t seem to speak and began to cry.. After awhile, we all said it was okay and she sat down and was able to tell us that the reason she couldn’t do her presentation was that she had been beaten so much for speaking her own language while at the residential school, that she found it almost impossible to speak in front of people. It was very sad — she was a very articulate, talented person, but so traumatized by her experience in the school. I heard more stories like that back then. Anyhow, I’m glad that many non-Indigenous people seem to be making a good effort to learn more about a history that has been pretty much swept under the carpet for many decades. First steps on a long road to reconciliation.

Earlier today, I stopped in town to pick up a few things at Arch&Po Bakery by the government wharf. There was a fishing boat on the haul-out. A couple of years ago, I had the idea of trying to photograph all of the boats that were worked on at the dry dock over a period of a year or two. I did manage to photograph a few, but that project fell by the wayside during covid. Maybe I’ll make another attempt in 2022.

Well, that’s the kind of week it’s been around here. Lots of work – not all mentioned here. Sometimes I feel like I don’t keep up very well, but it’s more a case of having too much to do. Somehow, I suspect that will never change.


Written by Administrator on October 1st, 2021

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